Last week we celebrated James Bond’s 50th anniversary of 007 in the movies, making it longest running movie series in history. The first book was actually published in 1953 and has delighted multiple generations.
As a child, my father took me to the Bond movies starting with “Goldfinger.” In this day and age, it would probably be considered wrong for a small child to see the violence of these movies, but I luckily had no knowledge that it was a bit inappropriate to have a child under 9 years old watch such a film, but they were only rated PG in those days. I can still remember the flying, decapitating top hat as well as the laser beam that almost cut Bond in half. Pussy Galore is still emblazoned in my mind in her amazing fly suit.
From then on, I was addicted. I saw each new movie as soon as it was released. I imagined that this was the true world of spying. I envisioned myself growing up to be either an actor or a spy. (I ended up being in the espionage business although as a child and teenager I acted in summer stock.)
So James Bond was my model. Of course, the reality of the intelligence business is very different. There are no beautiful models running through Luxor. There are no Aston Martins or BMWs issued to the officers to drive. None of our cars ever turned into submarines. Yes, we learned how to drive cars very fast and do three point turns. Yes, we qualified in multiple handguns. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on one’s point of view, we didn’t have to use the guns or escape roadblocks at speeds over 100 MPH. Most of the time is caught up in bureaucracy and spending hours on the mundane.
My character, Alex Garfield, who is the American “Jane Bond,” was created in many ways because I felt women should have an equally fun role model for that business. She too wears elegant clothes and jewelry. She too can kill to save her life or for her country. Like Bond, she is able to fly planes and choppers. She is also haunted by some of her past, but unlike her male mentor, she has a child and pets.
007 created my passion for the grey side of the world for me. I can certainly give opinions on the best actor, the best scene, the best Bond Girl, but I won’t because it is subjective. All of us who love Bond, still look forward to every new film and to critiquing it after its release.
For now, we get to wait with anticipation for the new movie, the 23rd to be exact, with the sixth actor to play Bond. The one thing I can tell you about the new film is that the “Skyfall” theme song by Adele falls into the same sultry, sexy sound as Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” theme and Tina Turner’s “Goldeneye” song. If the movie follows the excellence of the theme songs, this one should be great!